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A woman picks up flowers from a garden center in Long Beach, California. Photo: Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images

The coronavirus outbreak has driven a surge in cooking, baking and gardening across the United States, as most Americans are mandated to remain at home except to get essentials.

The big picture: The renewed interest in food and cooking during the pandemic may extend beyond the need to eat. Daily creative projects can help reduce stress and promote well-being, according to a study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology.

  • 90% of Americans are concerned about the coronavirus, according to an Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.
  • 37% of Americans surveyed said their emotional health had declined as of mid-April.

The state of play: Baking yeast sales surged by 647% for the week ending March 21, according to market research firm Nielsen, the Wall Street Journal reports.

  • King Arthur Flour’s website had sold out of yeast and a number of flours by the end of March, but planned to restock within days, the company said. And March was the company's busiest social messaging month, it told the Washington Post. The company received 22,000 messages in the first three months of 2020, more than double the messages it had received in all of 2019.
  • Seed companies have also reported significant sales spikes as consumers turn to gardening, according to Politico.

Flashback: The number of households that grew their own food blossomed from 36 million to 42 million between 2008 and 2013, largely because of economic uncertainty triggered by the Great Recession, according to a National Gardening Association report.

Go deeper: Virus vices take a toll on Americans

Go deeper

Biden's reengineer-America moment

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Senate's bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and President Biden's $3.5 trillion spending package could live or die this week — and take Democrats' fortunes with them. But all the minute-by-minute political drama obscures how much America could change if even a fraction of it passes.

The big picture: Anything short of total failure could have a transformative impact on day-to-day life — from how we move around to our access to the internet, paid family leave and child care, health care and college.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
36 mins ago - Economy & Business

Pandemic concerns change economic growth forecast

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Business economists have tempered their 2021 growth expectations, cutting nearly a point off their annual GDP forecast since earlier this year, according to the NABE outlook survey released today.

Why it matters: This reflects increased concerns over the pandemic's impact on the economy, particularly due to the spread of Delta and other variants. Panelists said that a faster vaccine rollout could improve their outlooks.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

German election: Social Democrats narrowly beat Angela Merkel's bloc

SPD leader Olaf Scholz. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

BERLIN — The center-left Social Democratic Party (SDP) clinched a narrow victory in Germany's historic federal elections on Sunday, just four years after suffering its worst loss since World War II.

Why it matters: It's a stunning political comeback for the SPD, paving the way for its chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz to form a new governing coalition and lead Europe's largest economy into the post-Merkel era.